New Trier High School: JazzFestival
Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 19 Jan 2012, p. 22, 25, 26

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Brief notes of school activities for the week
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19 Jan 2012
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New Trier Township High School
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  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.07225 Longitude: -87.72284
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Jazz festival

New Trier High School will host the 29th Annual Frank Mantooth Jazz Festival, a daylong event concluding with a concert featuring The Chicago Jazz Ensemble with special guest Nicholas Payton, Feb. 4. Tickets for the evening concert can be purchased online at

One of the largest high school jazz festivals in the country, this non-competitive event attracts more than 40 visiting high school and middle school jazz ensembles from around the United States and Canada. Students spend the day performing for world-renowned jazz clinicians, attending workshops and master classes, and taking in concerts. All of the daytime events are free and open to the public. The noon concert will feature Marquis Hill’s Black-tet (recently featured at the Chicago Jazz Festival). The Director’s Big Band will take the stage at 2:45 p.m. for a brief set, and the dynamic Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra will perform an hour set at 4 p.m..

The evening concert will feature New Trier’s Jazz Ensemble 1, followed by a 90 minute set by the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and special guest Nicholas Payton. The Chicago Jazz Ensemble (CJE) with artistic director Dana Hall is recognized as one of the leading jazz ensembles in the United States. The CJE has been resident at Columbia College Chicago since 1965 and strives to integrate tradition with innovation by presenting and reinterpreting the classics of big-band repertoire as well as championing the new creative voices of the 21st century. It is equally committed to music education and to nurturing the next generation of jazz artists and listeners by providing young people with mentorship, training, and performance opportunities. Led by percussionist Hall, the CJE recently received rave reviews for its spirited collaboration with pianist Randy Weston at the 2011 Chicago Jazz Festival.

Since 1994 when Nicholas Payton made his recording debut as a leader with From This Moment, the trumpeter has been lauded as a significant, top-tier voice in jazz. Even though he started out as a “young lion of jazz,” heralded as one of the new-generation guardians of the hard bop flame, Payton consistently committed himself to discovering his voice outside of the strict confines of that rearview mirror approach to the music. Described as a “ferociously gifted trumpeter” by The New York Times, Payton and the CJE will perform music from his critically acclaimed “Dear Louis” project. Payton’s appearance at the New Trier Jazz Festival will serve as a one night break from his run at New York’s famous Birdland, where he will be featured in a tribute to the great Freddie Hubbard.

The festival will take place at New Trier’s Winnetka Campus, 385 Winnetka Ave. For more information, visit

Kinesis performance

The Performing Arts Division at New Trier High School will present Kinesis, the school’s student dance company, in concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Cornog Auditorium at the Northfield Campus. Tickets are available at the door and online by clicking on the “Online Payments” link of the Performing Arts webpage at

Kinesis provides an opportunity for junior and senior dancers to choreograph and perform their own work under the guidance of artistic directors and Dance Division faculty Christopher Rutt and Johannah Wininsky.

The 2011-2012 Kinesis Ensemble is: Jackie Beckers, Lauren Bergelson, Emma Blackman, Eva Cahnman, Donna Carnow, Brittany Caruso, Patricia Costouros, Naomi Cowans, Natalie Dibo, Kendall Johnston-Legg, Rachel Lieberman, Claire Lindstrom, Allison McWeeney, Bridget Morse-Karzen, Katrina Mutuc, Rachel Nesnevich, Paulette Ostrowski, Angelica Revis, Alana Rieser, Olivia Robbins, Elena Rodriguez Rand, Carly Schwartz, Jeremy Skiba, Allison Swimmer, and Ali Tarr.

The Kinesis Ensemble will present 10 student-choreographed works, the product of individual and collaborative work of 11 student choreographers. “The students have grown so much over the course of the semester,” says Wininsky. “Their skills have improved but, more importantly, they are finding their artistic voices and learning what it takes to work collaboratively.”

Under the technical direction of Richard Penrod, each of the dances also features the creative work of five student lighting designers: Paige Campell, Emily Isaacson, Patrick Richwine. Hayley Shelton, and Elizabeth Woodburn.

Artistic collaboration is a key component to the choreographic process. Not only do the students collaborate with their peers, they also have the unique opportunity to work with professional artists. This year the entire Kinesis company will perform an original work by professional guest choreographer, Paige Cunningham Caldarella. Professional designer Branimira Ivanova has worked closely with student choreographers to design costumes for each dance. Two Kinesis members, Katrina Mutuc and Carly Schwartz, have collaborated with professional composer Howie Kantoff, who created original music specifically for their choreography.

Caldarella received her bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Juilliard School and went on to dance for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, touring throughout Europe, Australia and the U.S. She holds a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is an assistant professor at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago currently serving as the associate chair.

A 1986 New Trier graduate, Kantoff has been writing and performing music ever since he was a teenager growing up in Wilmette. From 1993-2001, Kantoff was a member of Sire/Reprise recording artists Poster Children, with whom he recorded five albums and toured extensively, including appearances on the Lollapalooza festival and MTV. Since 2000, he has been a drummer with the performance art ensemble Blue Man Group, with whom he performs regularly.

Ivanova is a graduate of the University of Connecticut (master’s degree in fine arts in costume design) and the International Academy of Design and Technology (bachelor’s degree in fine arts in fashion design). She designs costumes for dance and theater in Chicago and works with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Luna Negra Dance Theatre, River North Dance Company, Gus Giordano Jazz Dance, Breakbone DanceCo and Thodos Dance Company. Internationally she has worked with National Portuguese Ballet and The Netherlands Theater. Branimira is a recipient of Certificate for Excellence in Theatre Design by United States Institute of Theatre Technology. In 2007 her work was part of the United States National Exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial World Stage Expo in Prague

“I am particularly proud of this year’s company of dancers, especially in the areas of ensemble camaraderie and collaboration,” said Rutt, dance division coordinator and Kinesis co-artistic director. “These students are given amazing opportunities to work with professionals in dance, lighting, and music, and they have risen to the occasion. Johannah Wininsky and I are very proud of their work.”

Speech and Theatre department chair Nina Lynn says, “The children’s matinee is so joyous. My own children look forward to it every year. I see the Kinesis program as one of the jewels in the Performing Arts Division crown because it combines performance, leadership, and service so beautifully.”

Kinesis embodies the Dance Division’s motto Motion, Mind, Heart; Citizens in a Moving World through a partnership with the charity Supplies For Dreams, founded by former New Trier student and Kinesis member Aria Fiat. Kinesis company members held bake sales and a car wash to raise $500 for that important organization.

Alliance for Early Childhood

Raising compassionate kids

The Alliance for Early Childhood will present Nancy Carlsson-Paige, who will speak on “Raising Creative and Compassionate Kids in Today’s Pressure-Filled World” from 9:30-11 a.m. Jan. 27 at the Sacred Heart Parish Center, on the corner of Gage and Burr Streets in Winnetka. Reservations are no necessary and there is no fee, although donations are gratefully accepted

Today’s cultural pressures on children—media saturation, materialism, test-driven schools, and the fast pace of life—threaten to undermine some of the basic building blocks of healthy child development. Parents and adults who care for children, can navigate these difficult waters when they understand what it is children need and how adults can best help them in these rapidly changing times.

Carlsson-Paige is Professor Emerita at Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., where she taught teachers for more than 30 years and was a founder of the University’s Center for Peaceable Schools. Carlsson-Paige has written and spoken extensively about the impact of violence, especially in the media, on children’s lives, and social development and how children learn the skills for caring relationships and positive conflict resolution. She is the author and co-author of five books and has written numerous articles. Her most recent book is Taking Back Childhood: Raising Confident, Compassionate, Creative Kids.

For more information, visit or call Blakely Bundy at (847) 441-9001.

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New Trier High School: JazzFestival